This book would be an excellent resource for churches looking for a process of revitalization. I read through it pretty quickly, because many of the ideas were already familiar to me — they are very similar to the Fanning the Flame process that our congregation has been pursuing this past year.
Before embarking on change, a congregation needs to assess where they are in the present, and gain acceptance of the change process. Communication is key. Spiritual gifts are an important emphasis. This book is somewhat more academic and technical than From Embers to a Flame (previously reviewed on our blog From Embers to a Flame — Book Review). There are a number of helpful appendixes for assessing and auditing character of church leadership, maturity level, culture, core values and more, and well as personal assessments for personality, temperament and gifts.
Several chapters deal with the pastor as change agent, and helps for the pastor in reading and changing the church culture. Malphurs notes that some personality types are better at promoting change than others. At the end there are suggestions for closing a church or merging with another church as alternatives to congregational renewal.
Author Aubrey Malphurs is a professor of pastoral ministries and leadership at Dallas Theological Seminary and president of the Malphurs Group which engages in church consulting and training. You can visit their website by following this link:
VERDICT: 4 stars. I preferred From Embers to a Flame, but this book was also helpful and had some additional and interesting assessments.